[First Avenue, Manhattan]

9 13/16 x 14 7/8 in. (24.9 x 37.8 cm)
On original mat in graphite: MRothkowitz
Estate/Inventory Number
Collection of Kate Rothko Prizel. © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko
This drawing depicts a view along First Avenue, Manhattan, toward the East River and Long Island City, Queens. The headquarters of the New York Veal and Mutton Company, whose main building was located at the corner of First Avenue and East 43rd Street, is visible in the foreground. The four smokestacks of the Long Island City Powerhouse as well as its coal-hoisting apparatus and trestle, can be seen across the river at right (fig. 1). Construction along the waterfront began in the fall of 1903 and was completed in the summer of 1905, at which point it was anticipated that “this power house will eventually be one of the largest in the world” (Street Railway Journal, November 4, 1905). The prominent building visible at left on the horizon of Rothko’s drawing may be St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, located at 1008 49th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard in Hunters Point. With its neogothic spire, the church is one of the tallest structures in the area. It would have been visible from Rothko's vantage point across the river in Manhattan.
[First Avenue, Manhattan]
1. The Long Island City Powerhouse.